What is Thai Cuisine?
Thai cooking places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components and a spicy edge. Thai chef McDang characterizes Thai food as demonstrating “intricacy; attention to detail; texture; color; taste; and the use of ingredients with medicinal benefits, as well as good flavor”, as well as care being given to the food’s appearance, smell and context. Australian chef David Thompson, an expert on Thai food, observes that unlike many other cuisines, Thai cooking rejects simplicity and is about “the juggling of disparate elements to create a harmonious finish”.
In 2017, seven of Thailand’s popular dishes appeared on the list of the “World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods (Readers’ Pick)”— a worldwide online poll of 35,000 people by CNN Travel. Thailand had more dishes on the list than any other country. They were: tom yam goong (4th), pad Thai (5th), som tam (6th), massaman curry (10th), green curry (19th), Thai fried rice (24th) and moo nam tok (36th).“
Sounds good to me. Let us learn a little about the food. – jughandle
Things to Remember
Balance is the KEY to all Thai Food. Some dishes feature, salty, spicy, sour or sweet flavors, but they don’t overwhelm, they are balanced. Think sweet and sour, spicy and sweet etc.
The current list of the “World’s Top 50 Most Delicious Foods” from CNN travel, has Massaman Curry #10 so we will start with that.
Chicken Massaman Curry
This curry, which can also use beef, is flavored with tamarind and coconut milk, is ready in under an hour. Serve it over plain white rice.
Tom Yum Goong
Checking in at #4 in the CNN Travel Top 50 world’s dishes is Tom Yum Goong. This Thai staple is full of shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, lemongrass, galangal (ginger) and kaffir lime leaves. Usually swimming in coconut milk and cream, this hearty soup combines the top four of Thai flavors: sour, salty, spicy and sweet. Best of all is the price: cheap.
Som Tam is Green Papaya Salad. CNN Travel ranks this dish 46th of its 50 top dishes world wide.
Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam) is the #1 most popular salad in Thailand and is especially loved by Thai women. It’s low in calories and fat, but very high in taste and eating satisfaction, helping you stay slim. This salad recipe is crunchy and delicious. It can be served as a side dish/appetizer, or as the main course. Cooked shrimp or crab meat can be added (or cashews if vegetarian), or try eating it as they do in Thailand: with a bowl of sticky rice. ENJOY!
Pad Thai is translated as stir-fried noodles. The best Pad Thai dishes are served as street food. Pad Thai can be eaten with seafood or chicken, or as a veggie dish. Pad Thai is NOT spicy, it has a more sweet and sour flavor.
Thai fried rice
Thai fried rice is another staple of Thai cooking. You can order fried rice anywhere. It can also be ordered with just about any protein. The meal usually includes either chicken, shrimp, crab or beef. Together with egg, garlic, onions and a delicious seasoning this is an easy go-to meal that can be found at most street vendors.
Nam Tok Moo
( Sliced grilled pork salad )
This is meat version or Nam Tok Moo. It is made out of rare grilled pork to allow the juices to run together with the beef blood when its thinly sliced It is then dressed with ground roasted rice, ground dried chillies, fish sauce, lime juice, shallots and mint. The name means “waterfall pork” which is how liquid runs though the meat while it’s sliced. In Thailand this dish is served and eaten with sticky rice and raw vegetables.
This is another must try dish especially when it made into the list of CNN Go’s World’s 50 most delicious foods in 2011